What Is LEED, Why Do You Need to Be Certified, and How Can ESI Help?

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June 30, 2017

LEED Is the Most Widely Used Green Building Certification in the World

Ever since the late ’90s, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been the gold standard for environmentally responsible building and business operations. Every day, almost 2 million square feet of residential and professional floor space gets LEED certified, and it isn’t hard to see why.

LEED homes and businesses conserve resources, save energy and generally operate at a lower cost than older-style structures, and many businesses are happy to use their “green office” ethos to boost their public image. Private homeowners like the savings LEED-compliant homes offer, and many neighborhood associations now require upgrades and new construction to meet at least the basic LEED standards for sustainability. LEED certification comes in four levels:

  • Certified Basic level, less than 50 percent improved efficiency
  • Silver Higher than basic, silver-designated projects show a 50 to 60 percent improvement
  • Gold Buildings with a 60 to 80 percent LEED rating
  • Platinum Anything over 80 percent improved efficiency gets the highest rating (and the benefits that come with it)

Why Should Your Project Pay for LEED Certification?

There’s another reason to invest in LEED certification: money. Given the savings a LEED project brings in the long run, it’s in the buyer’s interest to pay a premium for certified properties. Owning a LEED-approved home or office building can also qualify a person or company for certain tax credits that can more than make up for the up-front costs. Even better, the higher a project’s LEED rating, the more tax credits and other savings are unlocked, which means that at every level, there’s always a monetary incentive to take the building one step higher and make it even more sustainable and green than it already is. There’s also an incentive to pay builders who can do this for a company or home-owning family.

If you’re building or remodeling a home or office, these are all terrific selling points for offering a LEED-friendly operation. But selling your services as an environmentally responsible builder is only half the battle. The other half is to deliver in the most efficient way you can.

How Can You Improve Your Project’s LEED Rating?

One of the ways to get your new construction or remodeling project the highest LEED rating it’s eligible for is to consult with the LEED-certified experts at ESI before or during your project. Environmental Solutions can offer advice and waste audits to help you know where your operation stands in relation to the strict set of standards maintained by the Green Building Council. We can visit your site to see what kind of waste your work generates and help you draft a responsible recycling and trash diversion plan that reduces landfill waste and maximizes the salvage potential of your cleanup efforts.

Once the audit is complete and a waste plan is in place and running smoothly, ESI can continue monitoring your waste stream for compliance and alert you to any changes that have taken place. We also generate annual, quarterly, monthly or more frequent reports at your request to help keep you on track to the coveted LEED certification as a green builder and the financial rewards that come with it.